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DuraGalPLUS®: JB Caravans built tough

16 May 2018

Key Information

JB Caravan products are built to withstand the rigours of the Outback by using Australian-made DuraGal C450PLUS® supplied by InfraBuild Steel Centre.

Australia’s vast landscape is a major drawcard for an increasing number of grey nomads and younger families in search of adventure. According to Tourism Research Australia, the year to June 2017 saw 11.6 million caravanning and camping overnight trips within Australia, with almost 50 million domestic visitor nights in total reflecting the increasingly long trips taken. And the forecast for this year is for further growth.

Accessing Australia’s rugged and often remote attractions is a major undertaking. Doing so safely, reliably and with all the comforts of home makes the process an even greater challenge.

That’s where Australia’s burgeoning caravan manufacturing industry comes in. The year 2017 saw 21,841 recreational vehicles manufactured in Australia, the second largest year for manufacturing since 1981.

Quality products for off-road durability

Victoria’s JB Caravans, now in its eighth year, is one of Australia’s leading caravan manufacturers, building rugged but luxurious off-road-capable caravans at its Campbellfield factory. According to JB Caravan Marketing Manager Matt Aleksoski the company produces over 600 per year, with that number set to increase dramatically now that the company has begun to make on-road caravans.

Matt says JB Caravans makes their own chassis and most of the caravan in-house, adding that use of a quality product is paramount to the company’s success. He says JB Caravans uses DuraGal C450PLUS® structural tube to ensure its products can withstand the rigours of touring in Australia. The strength of the product allows it to offer its customers a comprehensive 3-year structural warranty.  

“We chose C450PLUS® because it was in line with our company mission of liveability, reliability and durability,” he says. Being Australian-made and owned means we know the steel is strong and light, and that it can meet, if not exceed, Australian standards,” he says.

“We need to use a product that can withstand the harshest off-road conditions and C450PLUS® does just that. Our caravans are built for purpose and made tough for our difficult Australian conditions. We completely back our product by not limiting our customers’ usage of them. Our warranty stands even when our customers take their vans off-road,” Matt says.

Use of C450L0 DuraGalPLUS®

Rob Oman of InfraBuild Steel Centre (formerly LIBERTY OneSteel Metalcentre) says JB Caravans specifies C450L0 DuraGalPLUS® for use in the drawbar and main frame of the caravan chassis. C450L0 DuraGalPLUS® has a minimum ZB100 (i.e. 100g/m2) giving a superior strength while keeping it lightweight compared to other caravan chassis manufacturers that use ZB050 or less.

“The heavier galvanized coating of DuraGalPLUS® compared with other galvanized finishes ensures the durability of the product. Along with the superior strength-to-weight ratio of C450L0 PLUS®, this contributes to the long life of the trailer, making it a good fit with JB Caravan’s 3-year warranty,” says Rob. “Using DuraGal C450PLUS® that is ACRS certified de-risks the supply of steel for JB Caravans.”

Collaboration in R&D

Both Matt and Rob agree that close collaboration between supplier and manufacturer yields dividends.

“Through our team at InfraBuild Steel Centre Scoresby, we have developed a really strong collaborative relationship with the team at JB Caravans,” Rob says.

Matt considers the relationship with InfraBuild Steel Centre’s team an important one. “We work closely with them to ensure our quality is maintained and so that our R&D department can work collectively with the InfraBuild Steel Centre team to develop new products to align with our future plans and goals.”

JB Caravans has ambitious growth plans. It has acquired one of the largest caravan manufacturing plants in the country and has implemented sophisticated manufacturing technology and machinery to facilitate the different build process required for its new on-road caravan range. 

“We are always looking to expand our product offering and we listen to what the consumer wants to see as we improve our range,” Matt says.

Read more about JB Caravans here.

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